While out and about one afternoon, I flipped through my radio to find something to listen to. As was the usual case, there was nothing on. I even went to the local talk radio show, knowing full well who the ranting, egomaniacal idiot would be on at that hour. I try to avoid listening to him but every so often when I'm out and have the time, I tune in anyway just to see what bizarre theory or comment he has to make.
This day was no exception. A news report had just been released which indicated that a Democratic fundraiser had been found guilty of illegally gathering campaign contributions. After repeating the wire story, he just sat there, not saying anything but having thumped his meaty paws onto the control board in an attempt to indicate that he had thrown his hands into the air as if incredulous at this story.
This person then went on to lambast the Democratic party and made some typical comments at how they are the reason for the decline of American society. That because they are liberals they are more apt to perpetrate this sort of crime and thus, it is only the Republican party that can set America straight.
It was at this point that I switched stations and tried to find something else. I was so completely annoyed at this raving lunatic that I was almost tempted to call in and remind him of all the times that Republicans had been found guilty of the same crime or the numerous events perpetrated by Republicans which ran counter to their theme of family values. In case you missed them, here are just a few.
Who can forget good ole Newt Gingrich who asked his wife to sign their divorce papers while she was lying in bed recovering from her cancer treatments. Later it was revealed that the former speaker of the House of Representatives had or was having an affair with one of his staff members.
What about Bob Dole who, while running for President in 1996, accepted illegal campaign contributions and then only when the Federal Election Committee pointed this out and fined him agreed to return them.
On a more local level, in my home state, there has been a Republican State Senator who was found to have provided alcohol to underage girls and who apparently had sexual relations with them as well; a member of our State House who was found guilty of perjury and, more recently, another member of our House ran over a man, didn't stop to find out what he hit, then sold the vehicle a week after the accident. It was only because of an anonymous tip a year later that police tracked him and the vehicle down and are now pursuing charges against him.
Back to the national level. Remember Ronald Reagan? The one most Republicans say was such a great man? How about this for a great man. Not only did he have an agreement with the Iranian government in 1979 to hold the American hostages until he had taken the oath of office, he and former president George Bush lied about not knowing that the U.S. government was selling arms to Iran in exchange for money which was given to the rebels in El Salvador to buy weapons, all in contravention of United States law.
Lets go back to the House of Representatives. Remember former speaker Jim Wright? I'm sure most Republicans don't want to. He was forced out of office and forced to resign due to some back door shenanigans which, at the time, he denied having done anything wrong.
Then there is my all time favorite, Richard Nixon. The man who singlehandedly destroyed any sense of dignity to the White House (granted, our current president hasn't done much good in this area either). His actions, and those loyal Republicans who followed his commands, including one who said a few years ago during his talk show that one should aim for the head of a federal agent who comes knocking on your door, were so completely out of bounds, you couldn't see the field. Yet, whenever the subject of corruption comes up, his name is never mentioned.
With a bit more effort, I could dig up some more stories but the point has been made, both parties are supremely guilty. For any talkshow host to claim that one story, or even a succession of stories, somehow vindicates their belief that one party or the other is responsible for the woes of this nation only shows how absurd their position is. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.
You only need to look at your state government to see how guilty both parties are. I can guarantee that, with only minor exceptions, both members of the ruling parties have committed acts which you or I would a) never get away with or b) would never dream of doing. Yet, it seems to have become the accepted norm for politicians to do favors for those who contribute large sums to their campaigns or their party. It has become commonplace for elected officials to claim no wrongdoing when what they have done is clearly illegal. Worse, it seems more the norm for elected officials to claim that their office protects them or that the harm to their family would be too great for them to have stepped forward on their own and admit guilt.
So what. You broke the law. There is no way you can tell me that you didn't know giving alcohol to underage people is wrong or that lying under oath isn't right. You wrote the laws! It's common sense that if you hit something you stop and find out what it is, even it it's a sign.
I'm not sure when this perception that being elected to office places you at a higher standard than the rest of us occurred but from the little I know it seems to have started sometime in the early 1800's. Since that time, it's only gotten worse. How an elected official, who the people place their trust in to do their bidding can honestly believe that the laws do not apply to them is beyond me.
So where did this ranting and raving get me? Nowhere. It just allowed me to vent my frustration. However, instead of just stewing and constantly complaining, I, unlike the vast majority of the voting age population, will do something about it. When my state holds its primary election, I will go out and vote. I will vote against the incumbents in my party, I will vote against those people who my party have proclaimed as worthy to carry the banner. I will do my civic duty and vote and that is exactly what you should do. Vote.
Instead of sitting there whining about how corrupt every elected official is (they're not all bad), do something about it! Get off your fat, lazy butt and vote. Do what I do every election and vote against the incumbent. Vote for someone other than who your party wants you to vote for. It only takes five minutes and it's absolutely free (not counting the cost of gas to get to the polling place).
Show your party that you are tired of mediocore candidates and career political-criminals. Send the message that you want honest people who won't be swayed by contributions but will instead represent the little guy, not foreign interests.